Even though it’s the largest city in North Dakota, Fargo still has a reputation for being a small, remote town. That’s not exactly the case, though, as this North Dakota town still has plenty of energy and excitement to offer both locals and visitors. I had never really expected to find myself in Fargo, but when I had the chance to visit the town that one of my favorite TV shows is named after, I decided to take it.
During a cross-country road trip, my significant other and I decided to change our route due to weather issues. As we headed into Fargo, North Dakota, we realized we needed to find a place to stay for the night, so we checked out HotelTonight’s website. HotelTonight made it easy for us to book a great last-minute hotel in Fargo, and since we didn’t have to worry about accommodations we decided to explore a bit of this North Dakota town.
Bonanzaville, USA is a museum that has recreated what a local town would have looked like in the late 1800s, when “bonanza” farms were plentiful in the Midwestern prairies. This history museum features 47 buildings, many of which have been relocated from their original locations to create this village. Bonanzaville features buildings like a jail, a schoolhouse, a church and a general store. Walking around Bonanzaville will make you feel as if you’ve been transported back in time or to a movie set, and it’s definitely a great activity to enjoy with kids. At first glance, Bonanzaville seems like a tourist attraction, but we actually encountered many locals around the village, as this unique museum is a great spot for a weekend outing with the family.
After spending the morning walking past historic old buildings, we decided to explore the natural surroundings of this North Dakota town, so we visited Lindenwood Park. This large public park features great hiking trails, bike trails and even skating trails, making it a popular destination for locals during the warmer months. We rented bikes and hit the trails on that warm summer day, and we enjoyed every moment of the scenic ride through this popular Fargo park.
This historic business center is now a popular commercial center, but it still maintains a bit of its old-world charm. Since our hotel was located in downtown Fargo, we decided to check into our room and clean up before wandering the streets of downtown in search of a dinner spot. We were surprised to discover how much we enjoyed downtown Fargo. This Midwestern urban center is small, but it’s full of energy and activity, and some parts even feels like they belong in a trendy metropolis neighborhood. Downtown Fargo is home to a number of great restaurants, bars and shops, and it’s also home to its famous Fargo Theater. We spent hours popping in and out of shops and bars in downtown Fargo, and we discovered a much quirkier, unexpected side to this small town.
The Red River runs through Fargo, North Dakota, and it’s a wide, picturesque river that offers great opportunities for outdoor activities. While you can take boat rides on the river, we decided to experience a bit more of a thrill during our Fargo adventure, so we rented canoes and set out on the water. The Red River is a great spot for locals and visitors alike to go kayaking and canoeing, fishing or even taking a nice stroll along the waterfront. Since it was such a beautiful day outside, there were plenty of people enjoying the warm weather and picturesque surroundings on the river.
Just across from the Red River is Moorhead, Minnesota. We drove across one of the bridges into Minnesota to explore a bit of Moorhead, and we decided to tap into our own Norwegian heritage by visiting the Hjemkomst Center, a museum that features a massive Viking ship and provides history about Viking explorers. Even though Fargo-Moorhead is very landlocked, many of its original settlers hailed from Scandinavia, so there’s a particularly interesting history to discover in Moorhead. After browsing the museum and gaping in awe at the massive Viking ship, we grabbed a bite to eat downtown, bid adieu to Fargo and jumped back on the road.
I’ll admit it – I didn’t have big expectations for Fargo, but I was surprised at how much I loved this underrated town. Fargo has a unique vibe and a tight-knit community, and it was definitely one of the more interesting places we visited during our road trip. As we drove out of Fargo, we discussed how lucky we were to be able to make our spontaneous Fargo pit stop a possibility. We had HotelTonight to thank for making it so easy to book a last-minute hotel in Fargo, because without HotelTonight we wouldn’t have been able to change our travel plans at the last moment.